The technology involved is an infrared camera, a projector and a sound system. The camera tracks the movements of a performer and feeds this data into a computer. The computer uses the data to generate vision and sound which is sent to the projector and speakers accordingly.
The concept is that performers work within an improvisational framework, reacting to the output of the digital system in generating the next frame of input. The relationships between performer and technology are explored in both literal and abstract ways. For example a performer using a Wii remote to record the movement of their shadow, and then play it back, rewind it etc…. Or a digital tree growing, branch locations, sizes and angles (its ‘virtual DNA’) set via the performers movements.Over the course of the scene new behaviours emerge.
I developed *feedback* because I was dissatisfied with the role of
light in traditional dramatic works. Lighting is usually the last element to be introduced into the production and for that reason feels somewhat compromised as opposed to the ‘purity’ of the dramatic text which is maintained from day one of rehearsal. So in *feedback* I aim to create a production
that uses light, vision and interaction as a starting point rather
than text or body. Aesthetically I aim for it to draw on lighting transitions as inspiration – transformative moments in a performance where the audience accepts that night has become day in an instant or that a celebration has become a funeral.
*Feedback* is in its very early stages. It has just completed an initial development and work-in-progress showing as part of the Merrigong Theratre Development Program. I’ve embedded a video of excerpts from this development:[Read the full September 2010 production report.](http://www.tobyk.com.au/2010/10/feedback-sep-2010-production-report.html)
I’d like to offer a big thanks to everyone who participated in this development and made it possible:
Composers: Wendy Suiter, Houston Dunleavy and Joshua Craig
Movers: Jessica Millman, Solomon Thomas, Malcolm Whittaker
Special thanks: Everyone at Merrigong Theatre Company including Anne-Louise Rentell, Simon Hinton, Daniel Potter and Allan Doyle. Sarah Miller and Alistair Davies from the University of Wollongong. John Knyvett of Full Screen Ahead.
I’m currently in the process of applying for funding to take Feedback to the next stage in 2011. I’m also planning to change my style of blogging to smaller, more frequent updates rather than big posts at the end of projects so keep an eye on this page for progress.